Grocery Shopping Fun

Ah, grocery day! We use food stamps right now, so when our card is loaded, we head in to town to do our monthly shopping trip. My darling and I have decided that doing the bulk of our shopping once a month is a great way to save on our grocery bill. We get all the staples, and then leave some for produce(which we pick up weekly). Usually one of us makes up the list the night before, and then we all troop in to get the goods the next morning. I think the cashiers fear that we are extreme couponers when we come to their register with our overflowing cart. I have seen the look of panic flash in their eyes. Nope, we aren’t couponers, though maybe we should use more coupons. We have just found a way to shop that works for our family of five. We are a vegan family, who prefer to eat organic, whole food as much as possible. The simple act of eating mostly whole food is a huge part of why the five of us are able to eat the way we do for only around $650 a month. Those processed veggie burgers, boxed cereals, and meals in a box could add up. I ate that way when I was in my 20’s, but I certainly wouldn’t be able to feed my kids that way now. Nor would I want to. It helps that I love to cook.

Today’s shopping trip was a little different. It started out with my guy offering to stay home with our new dog. Shortly after my sweet, old hound passed away (around the winter solstice), a new dog came into our lives who desperately needed a family to love him. He is a sweet dog, but he has major separation anxiety. He practically destroyed our futon last time we left him at home. So hubby was out, and then my 11 year old step-daughter awoke with a sore throat, so she was out, too. I woke my other two sleepy-heads(at around 11 am!) and after I got them all bundled up, we loaded up and headed out to face the crowds. Boy, were the stores packed! I was really happy that I had done yoga in the morning, because if I hadn’t, I probably would have been a bit of a you-know-what. Driving into town, I had prepped myself for the possible madness we would face in town, and I vowed to make the shopping trip a happy trip.

Our shopping trips usually involve visiting three stores. I like to start at the Grocery Outlet to see if we can get some of our list taken care of at a discounted price. I scored some organic olive oil and a case of unsweetened almond milk among other things. Next was a local discount grocer, where I got most of the rest of the list knocked out. At this point, the wee ones were getting a little sick of this shopping thing. My 18 month old got her finger stuck in a rack at the check-out counter, and my 5 year-old was bouncing around and asking if we were done yet every five seconds. I kept calm, though, and am very proud at how I was able to keep upbeat despite it all. Our last stop was Fred Meyer, my favorite of the three. At that point, the list was quite a bit shorter and the kids were happy after eating bananas on the way between stores and because I let them ride in the “car cart” , so this time it  was much more pleasant. We got our list done and headed to our final destination, Papa Murphy’s. Their crust is vegan, and they are really good about catering to vegans. They never roll their eyes when I ask them to change their gloves before handling our food.Big plus there. We always get the family size veggie pizza without cheese and red sauce instead of white sauce. I top it with Daiya cheese before putting it in to bake. So very good! It is one of my guilty indulgences. For dessert, we had picked up some coconut ice cream, including my new favorite, Coconut Bliss Mocha Maca Crunch. Oh, baby! For the kids, we got some Coconut Secret Raw Berry Fusion ice cream.

By the time we were heading back out to the river, I was getting a little bit of a blood-sugar crash. I popped the pizza in as soon as we got home and by the time the hubby and I had finished bringing in and putting away the groceries, it was done.

Now here I sit, contemplating a cup of tea and ready to put my feet up and enjoy the evening. I may play a round of Grateful Dead-opoly with the kids. Or we might just watch the boob-tube and read. It’s vacation time. We only have four days left before it’s back to work and back to school. I am going to embrace these idle days. With cupboards full of food.

Yay for veggies!!!!

Yay for veggies!!!!